Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights - 1979

Souvenir Program Cover
On October 14, 1979 the first gay and lesbian march on Washington took place. This march was inspired by Harvey Milk. It was something he had talked and dreamed about - unfortunately he was killed the year before. I had graduated high school that year and was in my first semester of college. I don't remember anything about this march and that upsets me. Being closeted I really didn't think about gay rights and I didn't pay attention to any of the news articles. When I think about how scared I was that someone would find out about me I am in awe of how these people put themselves out there so that one day I wouldn't have to worry about being gay.

"Rights are not won on paper. They are won only by those who make their voices heard."
~Harvey Milk~

The march attracted about 100,000 people from all over the country. Originally there were concerns about backlash and also about whether enough people would show up. These concerns were unwarranted as many people made the trip. People marched for their rights and wanted to bring their concerns to the govenment. They made a pretty good impact. There was a souvenir program outlining the speakers and events. There was also a recording made of the speeches. We should all be thankful to these people for helping to advance our cause. Yes, we have made progress but we still aren't where we need to be and to honor those that came before us we need to continue the fight. I know in my heart that we are on the right track and there will be monumental changes in the very near future.

October 14, 1979

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